The Long Night

by Ernst Israel Bornstein
The Toby Press
254 pp. $14.95

Reviewed by Pnina Moed Kass

As so many of us are, I am distanced from the experiences in this memoir. Circumstances have turned my reading of this harrowing personal experience into the reading of an historical document. This journal is the literary equivalent of cinema vérité; unvarnished close-ups, insightful panoramic views -  the word-camera of an eighteen year-old who survived seven concentration camps.

This is difficult reading and for many of us in Israel, it is a story painfully familiar. Originally written in German shortly after the war, the author's acutely accurate reporting of details renders this a compelling narrative. Bornstein became a dentist and returned to live and practice in Munich, Germany. Never would he forget those who died or the places of their death. He was instrumental in the erection of memorials and cemeteries. "On 30 April 1945 our freedom was restored to us . . . the camps still hold me prisoner."

For any reader, this survivor's testimony, stark and horrific, will echo for a long time and may also spark a grateful acceptance of life.  

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About the author

Pnina Moed Kass

Pnina Moed Kass has been living in Israel since 1969. After teaching high school English for a number of years she decided to take a break and go back to writing. Her writing background in the U.S. h...
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